The Stack Archive News Article

Data Center Incident Reporting Network announced

Tue 6 Jun 2017


The UK Data Center Interest Group, a not-for-profit organization focused on data center technologies, best practices and policy, has announced the formation of the Data Center Incident Reporting Network (DCIRN).

The incident reporting network will be a resource for operators to share information about data center failures confidentially so that the industry as a whole can learn from the failures that have occurred. The goal of the DCIRN is to improve the reliability of data centers worldwide by collecting and analyzing information related to failures.

The launch of the DCIRN was first announced in a blog post on LinkedIn, written by Simon Allen, Membership Secretary of the UKDCIG. In the post, Allen noted that unlike the airline industry which shares information in order to improve safety and services, there is a culture of secrecy around data center failures.

“Root cause investigation findings are normally secret and bound by NDA (non-disclosure agreements), which has resulted in the data centre industry being at a disadvantage in learning from failures,” he writes, going on to note that as people become more reliant on data centers in the digital economy, it is only a matter of time before a data center failure results in a loss of human life.

In an interview with Data Center Dynamics, Ed Ansett, founder of the UKDCIG said that it was important to understand why failures are repeated from one company or data center to the next. “I came to the conclusion some time ago that people were not learning from experience.” Sharing the reasons for failures with one another can help data center owners and operators to learn from other members’ experiences as well as from their own.

While currently, the activities of the Data Center Interest Group are funded by members and include a quarterly meeting to discuss technologies, methodologies, policy and legislation, eventually the group will require funding to establish a central secretariat to analyze submitted failure data. It is important to the DCIG that funding is obtained from a neutral source, not from an equipment vendor, for example.

The reporting network will be established as a charitable trust, working as a non-profit for the betterment of the data center industry. As Ansett stated, “It’s not to make money, it’s for ordinary data center folk to learn.”

The DCIRN will be launched on August 3, 2017, at the UKDCIG’s next meeting at the Mayfair Hotel in London.


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